Chicken Scampi, a cooking disaster

I don’t always make perfection (although usually I do), sometimes I make huge mistakes and it’s just a huge bust!  At the suggestion of my sister I am blogging about my recent culinary disaster.  A few weeks ago I went out to dinner at Vigneto Cafe in Highland, and as is typical in our family, someone (who happens to not be a female) tasted something REALLY good and  followed it up by turning to me and saying “I bet you can’t make this.”  In our family that is man code for “Jess you should make this because I want it again!”  Anyone who knows me, knows how I would respond to that, “Are you kidding me? Of course I can make that! I can make anything!!!!!”

Delicious Roux

I went about scouring the internet for chicken scampi recipes, I made a board on pinterest titled “experimental” in which to save these recipes, and any others I plan on experimenting with in the future.  I also got some help via my friends on Facebook; I left no stone unturned in my search.  Yet when it came time to make the meal, I did not follow a recipe, go figure.  Someone was insistent on making it with grilled chicken, which completely threw off the recipe, as I knew it would! The recipe NEEDS the flour from the chicken. But sometimes ya just gotta let people make their mistakes so you can say “told you so”

Scampi Sauce and Pasta

Well, since there would be no flour from the chicken, I figured I would make a roux to replace it.  The roux was delicious, I love roux, I could live on it really.  The recipe I “used” called for lemon juice, and WOW was it overpowering!!!  DO NOT USE RECIPES WITH A LOT OF LEMON JUICE!!!!!I should have followed the recipe a friend gave me on FB, but I couldn’t find it, big mistake, I should have kept looking for it.  Well this final photo is the mess of what my sauce turned into.


Between the broken sauce and the overwhelming lemon taste, it just was a disaster, NOTHING like what we had at Vigneto.  We tried to eat it, we ate some (barely) , but come 9pm we were hungry again, so naturally I picked up the phone and called Vigneto to see if they would deliver a meat lover pie.  They did, and saved the day (well night) and no one had to go to bed hungry!

Meat Lover pizza from Vigneto


Maybe I will get lucky and one day get the recipe from, but next time I will using the Coppola Recipe from my friend Dave! If you are looking for some Scampi recipes to try, check out my experimental board on pinterest a look!  Happy Cooking!



Searching for a sign

In my life, I am always searching for the meaning of things; I always want to know the “why” and the reason behind things. Sometimes this gets me into trouble… I don’t know I just always NEED to be able to understand things, I can never just accept things. It’s probably one of my worst and best traits lol.  For the past few years I have been thinking about what tattoo to get next. I’ve had some ideas, some better than others, and some, well it’s a good thing I didn’t get them…

For a while now, I have had my heart set on a few: “dolce far niente”,  a dandelion on my shoulder blowing in the wind, a four leaf clover, and faith hope and love, each intertwined into an infinity symbol.  Faith, Hope, and Love are three things at the core of who I am. But ink is permanent, so I want to make sure whatever I get, that it’s right, ya know?  Of course looking for a sign of what tat to get seems ridiculous, right?  So I basically ask my sister once a week what she thinks of the idea, and she loves it and thinks it’s a great idea. But every time I go to explain the tatoo to her or anyone else, I say “The faith goes on the back base of my neck, hope goes on my left wrist and love goes on my right wrist”, yet when I go to explain it, and say hope, for some reason I always extend my right wrist, and then when I say love, I extend my left. This makes no sense, because then I have to stop myself and say no that’s the wrong wrists and explain that LOVE goes on my right wrist and HOPE goes on my left.  It irritates me that my brain keeps messing up when it is clearly NOT how I want the ink on me forever!!! Well I was in the shower thinking about what it will look like once it is on, I was thinking “Faith, Hope, and Love” as I thought hope I envisioned it on my left, yet there in the shower extended my right wrist, and as I thought “Love” extended my left.  And then I looked at my wrists and it hit me, Love BELONGS on the left wrist!!!! Of course it does!!!! Where do people wear wedding rings?? On the left hand! I’m not married, but anyone who knows me knows how I feel about love, and how I regard it. So of course “Infinite love” belongs on the hand what wears a wedding ring!!! And BAM! There’s my sign! I will save talking about the meaning of this tattoo for when I get it; but I will say, Faith Hope and Love are, and have always been, a huge part of who I am.  The meaning of this tattoo goes back to when I was little, and continues through to my every day life and heart, and love.  Life is beautiful, but not always easily understood; especially when it comes to matters of love.  But if you have faith, and hope in that love….well, anyone that knows me, knows…. 😉










These pictures are NOT of me!!! These are just pics I found online of what I want .  But on mine all the script style will be the same and the lines will be more like the lines pictured with the “love”!

I feel SO ready for this new ink!!!!

Hudson Valley Wine Fest, better late than never

A few days before my epic computer crash, I had the privilege of attending the Hudson Valley Wine Fest, courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine! I won a four pack of tickets through a twitter contest, and I was PSYCHED!!!! I had always wanted to check it out, but timing wise it just never worked out. This time around not only did it work out, but I was given tickets and I was taking some fantastic friends as guests!

Via a late night twitter convo, I told Ken, aka Hungry Rabbit, that if I won I would take he and M, with me; along with my date, I brought the infamous Stanley Samantha Jones Blanch Deveroux, otherwise know as Michael!  Once there we met up with my dear friend Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen (and her daughter Maddie) and went to watch Abby Dodge  do a series of baking demos for Fine Cooking Magazine. It was my first time meeting Abby and she is such a doll!!! She is sweet as pie with a great sense of humor!!!

The fest itself was good, but what really made it was my friends. I’ll be honest, the fest itself wasn’t exactly what I expected…. I am so grateful to Fine Cooking for the tickets, but had I been a paying guest I would have been really disappointed. It was extremely overcrowded, as in barely any room to move, and it was HOT. Hot and alcohol are not a good mix.  Also It’s the food and wine fest, but there was almost no food (other than crackers and a dessert). The “food” portion was only a food tent that you could purchase food tickets for, but it was not included in the price of the ticket, and the vendors in it were unprepared and the food, eh. As for the wine the pours, they were VERY small; so small it was hard to really even taste the wine.  And the people representing the wineries were cold and inhospitable; honestly not very nice at all. I was shocked!! They were terrible representations of their wineries!!!

On a good note, there was a huge assortment of wineries there!!! It was fantastic to see just how many wineries are in NY!!!! There was something for everyone, and it gave me a lot of ideas on places to go for a day trip.  The organizers really did a wonderful job of representing all areas of the wine spectrum as well as the state. The best part was definitely the fine cooking demos, and of course, the spectacular friends I went with! 🙂 Enjoy the pictures!